The Friday Night Fellowship
The Saint John Chrysostom Friday Night Fellowship Meeting is discussing and exploring important foundations of Orthodox thought. It is important to understand Orthodox theology to truly envisage what it means to be an Orthodox Christian and understand the life of the Church which is central and foundational to the life of the Orthodox Christian. The philosophy of the Chrysostom meeting is building our parish in the fundamentals of Orthodox thought, and to describe the mystical understanding of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Saint John Chrysostom
Our father among the saints John Chrysostom (347-407), Archbishop of Constantinople, was a notable Christian bishop and preacher from the fourth and fifth centuries in Syria and Constantinople. He is famous for eloquence in public speaking. He also had notable ascetic sensibilities. After his death he was named Chrysostom, which comes from the Greek Χρυσόστομος, "golden-mouthed." The Coptic Orthodox Church honours him as a saint (feast day, November 24). He is also counted among the Teachers or Doctors of the Church, together with Saints Athanasius the Great, Cyril of Alexanderia, Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian.
"In the matter of piety, poverty serves us better than wealth, and work better than idleness, especially since wealth becomes an obstacle even for those who do not devote themselves to it. Yet, when we must put aside our wrath, quench our envy, soften our anger, offer our prayers, and show a disposition which is reasonable, mild, kindly, and loving, how could poverty stand in our way? For we accomplish these things not by spending money but by making the correct choice. Almsgiving above all else requires money, but even this shines with a brighter luster when the alms are given from our poverty. The widow who paid in the two mites was poorer than any human, but she outdid them all."
"For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice."
"When an archer desires to shoot his arrows successfully, he first takes great pains over his posture and aligns himself accurately with his mark. It should be the same for you who are about to shoot the head of the wicked devil. Let us be concerned first for the good order of sensations and then for the good posture of inner thoughts."
"Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved."